Arsenal Will Offer Manager Wenger New Contract: Soccer Roundup

The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.

Wenger’s Contract

Arsenal will offer manager Arsene Wenger a new contract, the Daily Mirror reported, citing Gunners Chief Executive Officer Ivan Gazidis.

“It’s not a sense of sentimentalism, not a reward for our services, it’s a belief that we have an incredible manager who loves this club and is the best man to lead us forward,” the Mirror cited Gazidis as saying.

Wenger’s current deal worth 7 million pounds ($11.2 million) a year expires in 2014, the newspaper added.

Carroll Recovery

West Ham United striker Andy Carroll may make an earlier-than-expected return from a hamstring injury next week, the Daily Mail reported.

Carroll, who got injured in his West Ham debut 12 days ago, could play in the Sept. 22 Premier League match against Sunderland after the club initially feared he would be sidelined for as many as six weeks, the Mail added.

Reina Rumors

Pepe Reina’s agent denied the Spanish goalkeeper is set to leave Liverpool after a dip in form, the Sun reported.

“The team has not started the season well and liability is falling on him,” the Sun cited Manuel Garcia Quilon as saying about Reina. “But this will end when he returns to form. He has four years to run on his contract and rumors of leaving Liverpool are just that, rumors.”

Handshake Snub

Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand is ready to refuse to shake hands with Chelsea’s John Terry and Ashley Cole when the teams meet on Sept. 15, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The Premier League is adamant that the traditional pre-match ritual should go ahead regardless of any tension between the individuals after Terry was cleared by a magistrate of racially abusing Ferdinand in October, the newspaper said. Cole appeared as a character witness for Terry at the trial.

Ferdinand will meet with his advisers and club staff today before making a final decision, the Telegraph added.

Birmingham Bid

Former QPR Chairman Gianni Paladini said he’s heading a group which has made a takeover bid for Birmingham City, the Independent reported.

“We’ve made an approach,” the Independent cited Paladini as saying. “Unfortunately, I can’t really say too much because everything is in the hands of the lawyers.”

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